Juan Andres Rodriguez has worked here for nine years. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/cuba-can-teach-america-farming, Double your gift now with our Year-End Match, Shields & Brooks on church shooting, Pope’s environmentalism.

What do you see when you look at this place? We cleaned it. But the key ingredient isn't any old mint. At Alamar, our food production is without chemicals entirely. People were encouraged to move from the city to the land and organic farming methods were introduced. But once the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba was not prepared to adequately feed its people. They're using marigolds to attract the pollinators.  Adult $110 , Child 12 or Older $74, This website uses cookies to provide you a great user experience.

It began in 1991, what the government euphemistically called a special period, when the Soviet Union collapsed and Cuba lost its major supplier of fuel, fertilizer and food. "El organiponico," he replies.

The immediate crisis of hunger was over. Below the high ceilings of the Telegraph hotel in Bayamo, south-east Cuba, the barman is mixing a perfect mojito. That's at PBS.org/NewsHour. At the same time, crop production needs to be increased so that more people can get more food. Meet the members of president-elect Biden’s coronavirus task force, WATCH: Kamala Harris gives victory speech after elected vice president, PBS NewsHour Outside in the shop, signs extol the virtues of eating your greens. Vivero Alamar was created by people who lived in the surrounding community. The lettuces were great. To see a greenhouse growing heirloom tomatoes, it is fantastic. “Organic agriculture isn’t a mirage, and the closing of half of the country’s sugar refineries represented the first step towards our food independence,” according to Fernando Funes Monzote, who has a Phd in Agronomy and is the son of one of Cuba’s greatest supporters of organic agriculture. Before the revolution nearly half the agricultural land in Cuba was owned by 1% of the people. Grief, anger, disbelief: Trump voters face Biden’s victory, Read It was a matter of urgency. "Almost overnight," says the COSG, the ministry of agriculture established an urban gardening culture. Cuba produced 3.2m tonnes of organic food in urban farms in 2002 and, UNFAO says, food intake is back at 2,600 calories a day.

Enter the organoponics currently seen in Cuba where a lack of petrol forced the use of oxen; a lack of pesticide forced the use of marigold, thyme and basil; and a lack of fertilizers forced the use of natural products to attract insects needed in the farming process. By using our site, you accept our Privacy Policy. They're using a lot of interplanting, and a lot of natural insecticides.

All that’s needed is the right motivation, commitment and scientific backing. And change is on the horizon, which might be good for living standards, but not so good for Cuba's commitment to pesticide-free food. People started to go hungry. But it's where the hotel grows all its mint for its mojitos.  Adult $79, Child $49. MIGUEL SALCINES, Founder, Vivero Alamar Farm (through translator): The country has had a green revolution in farming since the use of chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The country's innovative solution was urban organic farming, the creation of 'organoponicos'. And you can find that on our home page.

It's part of a well-organized system here that's gained attention as a model for other parts of the world and daily attracts experts and foodies, like this group of Americans on a recent tour. Guava and noni fruit trees provide shade around the perimeter, while on the far side compost piles sit next to plastic tunnels used to raise seedlings. This is mint, as the Cubans say, "from the patio".